The JEWISH COURSE of Why

Het studieboek is in het Engels, maar de voertaal van de cursus is Nederlands.

Intellectual Depth of Judaism

In a style that allows for both easy conversation and in-depth discussion, the six-week course endeavors to tackle fifty “why” questions about Judaism. The course is not about the “what?” and “how?” It is about exploring the scholarly and sophisticated rationale behind mysterious Jewish beliefs and practices. Debunking common misconceptions and introducing little known but vital facts, the course will surprise, intrigue, and equip students with an arsenal of ideas about the richness, relevance, and scope of their heritage.

Some of the fifty questions in the course:

Why have the Jews outlasted so many other groups of people throughout history? Why would anyone want to remain Jewish after so much suffering throughout the ages?

Why were there tribes that were “lost”? And why were they never found?

Why is the Star of David a Jewish symbol?

Why are there so many Jews in Hollywood?

Why do some Jews say they are the “chosen people”? Is this not chauvinistic?

Why is the Land of Israel important to the Jews?

Why does Halachah decide the Jewishness of a child solely on the lineage of its mother and not its father?

Why doesn’t Jewish law have provisions for someone who desires to convert out of Judaism? Why doesn’t Judaism seek converts?

Why are eggs pareve, when the chickens that make the eggs are not?

Why aren’t vegan foods automatically kosher?

Why do Jews toast with “lechaim”?

Why does Judaism have so many rules? Why is it caught up with details?

Why does the Talmud prescribe different requirements for men and women?

Why does Judaism place emphasis on praying with a congregation? Shouldn’t prayer be a personal experience?

Why do we pray? Doesn’t God know what He is doing? Do we think we can change His mind? Why do some people hold up a little finger when the Torah is lifted? Why do some Jews sway when they pray?

Why do we say Kadish after someone passes away? Why do we place pebbles on a headstone? Why do we light candles on a yahrtzeit?

Why am I responsible for my actions if God knows what I will do in advance? Why doesn’t God respond to my requests?

Why are we born with inclinations that we are forbidden to act upon?

Why don’t Jews accept Jesus?

Why does the Bible instruct us to “fear” God? Isn’t fear a negative emotion?

If the miraculous stories in the Bible are to be taken literally, why are there no such miracles today?

Why did Moses have a stutter?

Why does the Bible call for animal sacrifice? Isn’t it inhumane and violent?

Why is slavery sanctioned by the Torah?

Why do we say “mazal tov”? Why do Jews follow a lunar calendar?

Why do some Jews eat gefilte fish and chulent?

Hopende U op dinsdag 9 februari 2016 bij de cursus te ontmoeten. In verband met het bestellen van de studieboeken, uiterlijk aanmelden 24 januari 2016 via spiero@nihs.nl
Rabbijn Zwi Spiero, Staat voor u klaar!

Joodse Gemeente Amsterdam

020-6460046 en 06 52328065

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